The youth riots in Okinawa on Thursday night sparked immediate condemnation from local communities and racial and hate speeches from mainland Japanese towards the youths who participated in the rare type of uprising. For the country of Japan as a whole, this incident is almost unheard of, which made it hit national news in Japan. While Japanese newspapers filled headlines with subtle accusations and stories lacking facts, Okinawa media have been quick to question the police authorities who have not been releasing information about the incident or the cause.
As continued subjugation of Loochoo/Okinawa continues, so does the drop out rates, less than standard educational scores, increased single parent families, increase in local crime, economy that is forced to be dependent on hosting US and Japanese military. and democratic voice being stifled by the Japanese governments heavy hand for itʻs colonial agendas.
This discussion looks at Thursdays incident with a lens that sees underlying disparities that have built up throughout Okinawaʻs history from the illegal annexation and overthrow of 1879, to the banning of local languages, assimilation policies, WWII and American occupation, and the "reversion" back to Japanese control. These connect to the similarities of other colonized indigenous communities as we see and realize parallels in which we can also find strength and empowerment when we support each other, and in Okinawaʻs situation, help to open their eyes and minds to looking at the underlying problems which have festered and led to this kind of incident.......not to be condemned, but to begin asking questions, assessing, and finding ways to face the problems instead of ignoring or forcing handicaps to be in line with the norm. This is a very difficult discussion, but I believe itʻs one that needs to be continued.
Ippee Nifeedeebiru for listening.